Patients undergoing cancer treatments often have side effects that are difficult to deal with. Some of these side effects include changes of appetite, digestive difficulties and intestinal discomfort. As a result, doctors and nutritionists have begun working to formulate special recipes to cater to the specific needs of cancer patients and their families in order to ensure proper nutrition during treatment and recovery.

Potato Salad

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In order to make a delicious and nutritious potato salad, you'll need 1/3 cup of low-fat plain yogurt, 1/3 cup mayonnaise, 1/4 tsp. of onion (minced or scraped), 1 chopped parsley sprig, 1/4 cup of celery or green pepper (optional), 2 potatoes that have been boiled and diced, 2 diced hard-boiled eggs and salt (optional).

Place the parsley, onion, celery, pepper, yogurt and mayonnaise in a bowl and blend the ingredients well. Stir in the remaining ingredients and place the entire salad in the refrigerator until it is chilled.

This recipe makes 4 servings of potato salad and is a great source of calories at 245 per serving. The recipe can be modified for those on a soft diet by omitting the onions, celery and green peppers. Those on a low lactose diet should use yogurt made from pasteurized milk.

Peanut Butter Spread

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To make an enjoyable and versatile peanut butter spread, you will need 1 tbsp. of instant dry milk, 1 tsp. of water, 1 tsp. of vanilla, 1 tbsp. of honey, and 3 large tbsps. of creamy peanut butter.

Start by mixing the vanilla, dry milk and water. Once blended, add the peanut butter and honey and stir the mixture until it blends together.

This nutritious spread can be added to graham crackers or any other type of cracker the patient can stomach. The spread can also be rolled into small balls, chilled and enjoyed as a soft candy snack.

The entire recipe makes 1/3 of a cup of spread, totaling 440 calories and 17 grahams of protein. The recipe is great for those on a soft food diet. Patients on fiber-restricted diets should count the dry milk in this recipe as 1/4 cup of their daily milk allowance. Those on low lactose diets should use 1 tbsp. of soy formula in place of the dry milk and water.

Fortified Milk

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Fortified liquids are important to any cancer patient on a soft or full liquid diet. It's easy to fortify milk by mixing 1 quart of homogenized or 1 percent low-fat milk with 1 cup of instant dry milk (nonfat).

Mixing the two together instantly increases the protein in a one cup serving of milk. If the recipe is made with whole milk, the serving will have 275 calories and 19 grams of protein, making it a great addition to the diet of a person who is having a hard time meeting his daily calorie needs. If the recipe is made with 1 percent milk, it will have only 195 calories per serving but will still feature 19 grams of protein.

About the Author

Deborah Dera

Deborah Dera has been writing part-time for more than five years but in September of 2008 took the plunge into the world of full-time writing with several online content providers. She earned her associate's degree from Camden County College and furthered her education by taking classes through Thomas Edison State College in New Jersey.